Roman Dubasevych, Matthias Schwartz (ed./eds.)

Sirenen des Krieges
Diskursive und affektive Dimensionen des Ukraine-Konflikts
[Sirens of War. Discursive and Affective Dimensions of the Ukraine Conflict]

LiteraturForschung Vol. 38
Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin 2020, 373 pages
ISBN 978-3-86599-356-4

Before 2014, no one had reckoned with the outbreak of war in Eastern Ukraine. The speed with which the political crisis in one of the most stable former Soviet republics escalated, points not only to the strategic military and economic interests at stake. Although Russia and the Ukraine have for centuries shared a common history and close cultural ties, the conflict reveals deep mutual resentments and historico-political obsessions that have, in fact, been present for a long time in art works and cultural discourse.

In the Ukraine conflict, collective phantasies and historical myths of heroes and martyrs were restaged. Paradoxically though, the propensity to violence and belligerence with which all parties advanced this dynamic on local, national, and virtual levels, opened up new ways for artists and writers to overcome the perceived powerlessness and to take action. This development is deeply shaped by (post-)Soviet experiences and at the same time connected to global and media developments. The case studies in this book explore the affective and discursive dimensions of the conflict, thus contributing to a conceptualization of post-socialist societies and cultures in Eastern Europe.


“To be sure, some readers will perceive the volume’s polemical approach to the ‘hot’ topic of the ongoing war as provocative. Yet it is provocative in the best sense of the word, as it intends to provoke new thoughts, ideas, and strategies, in order to quiet the warmongers (the ‘sirens of war’) and make peace between Ukraine and Russia more than a dream.”
Olena Petrenko and Oleksandr Zabirko, Harvard Ukrainian Studies 37.3–4 (2020)


Panel Discussion and Book Presentation
12 Dec 2019 · 6.30 pm

Kultur und Alltag im Ukraine-Konflikt

Zentrum für Osteuropa- und Internationale Studien Berlin, Mohrenstr. 60, 10117 Berlin

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Media Response

21 Dec 2022
Debatten in der Ukraineforschung: Neue Narrative zulassen

Event review by Amory Burchard/Eva Murašov, in: Tagesspiegel, 21 Dec 2022

26 Mar 2021
Roman Dubasevych and Matthias Schwartz, eds. Sirenen des Krieges: Diskursive und affektive Dimensionen des Ukraine-Konflikts. Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2019

Review by Olena Petrenko and Oleksandr Zabirko, in: Harvard Ukrainian Studies 37.3–4 (2020), 19–22